Most often, mandatory overtime is legal in the state of Florida. Have it in mind that many employers in the state of Florida have the right to demand mandatory overtime from their employees. Howbeit, if you qualify for overtime pay, which many hourly workers do under federal and Florida wage and hour laws, you are expected to get paid appropriately (typically time and a half).

However, depending on your field and situation, there may be certain limitations on mandatory overtime, which make your employer legally bound to honor those requirements. Florida has established an array of wage and hour laws; however, the law in this state is silent when it comes to whether or not employers can mandate their employees to work overtime.

Owing to that, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 governs overtime hours and wages in Florida. The Fair Labor Standards Act seeks to protect every employee’s wage, hour, and overtime rights. Howbeit, a good number of employers in Florida still try to cheat working employees out of their legal overtime wages.

Under the FLSA, most employers reserve the right to mandate overtime work from most employees, and no limit is set when it comes to the amount of overtime that may be required. “Non-exempt” employees may even be requested to work a second shift without getting any prior notice.

Therefore, if you are not in a field that has well-defined restrictions or have other signed contracts that restrict mandatory overtime, an employer has the right under the FLSA to mandate you to work as many overtime hours as they want.

Most employment contracts are known to impose restrictions on an employer’s right to require overtime, and if you belong to a union, then your employer’s right to mandate overtime may be hampered by your union’s agreement with your employer.

Note that unless you are protected (“exempted”) by an employment contract or union contract, employment in Florida is at will, and an employer still reserves the right to fire you for any reason considered legal, including a refusal to work overtime.

Overtime Coverage Exemptions in the State of Florida

There are a few special work type classifications with special rules for overtime. In the State of Florida, some employees are exempt from overtime provisions of the law and some are non-exempt. If you fall in any of the job classifications below, note that you are an exempt employee.

  1. Executive Employees

Executives and managers whose main duties include managerial oversight are not considered eligible for overtime pay. However, in the State of Florida, here are the rules the law stipulates to ensure you are eligible as an executive employee.

  • The employee will have to be compensated on a salary basis (as stipulated in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week;
  • The employee’s main job duty will have to include managing the business, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;
  • The employee will have to customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
  • The employee will also need to have the authority to hire or fire other employees.
  1. Administrative Employees

Administrative employees include employees whose primary roles include administrative duties in their places of work. Also, note that executive administrators are exempt from minimum wage and overtime compensation in Florida in the Fair Labor Standards Act and its regulation.

To be eligible for an administrative position exemption, the employee will need to be earning at least $684 a week, and their job responsibilities will have to include non-manual work that is expected to be directly related to the operation of the business. Note that examples of administrative work that meets exemption requirements include such positions as:

  • Accounting
  • Labor relations
  • Quality control
  • Personal management
  • Human resources
  1. Tipped Employees

In the state of Florida, to be considered a tipped employee for the purposes of the law, you will be expected to prove that some or all of the following characteristics of tipped employees are attributed to you:

  • You generally and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips
  • Your tips are considered to be your property
  • Your employee is forbidden from using your tips for any reason other than as a credit against the minimum wage.
  1. Professional Employees

Have it in mind that employees who are carrying out professional functions in a company in the State of Florida are exempted from overtime pay requirements as long as they meet a wide range of requirements that include that they make more than $684 a week.

The employee’s duties will have to require advanced knowledge and skill sets that demand the consistent use of discretion and judgment. The knowledge is expected to have been acquired via a prolonged course of professionalized instruction.

  1. Computer Employees

Employees in the computer industry are also exempted from minimum wage requirements in Florida. These professionals include software developers, computer programmers, and other employees whose jobs are centered on ICT and computers.

To be eligible for the computer employee exemption, there are certain hurdles the employees will have to surpass. For instance, if salaried they must make more than $684 a week, or more than $27.63 an hour. Also note that these professionals will have to be in a decision-making position and involved in the design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer hardware or software.

  1. Independent Contractors

Workers classified as independent contractors are also not entitled to overtime pay. It’s not uncommon for employees to be misclassified as independent contractors by employers in an attempt to avoid paying overtime wages and/or minimum wage.

It’s not up to the employer to simply claim an employee is working as an independent contractor. Under the FLSA, when properly classified, the workers’ duties must be free from control and direction and are usually involved in an independent trade, occupation, profession, or business.

  1. Other Occupations

Other employee occupations listed under FLSA exempt status include:

  • Retail or service commissioned employees;
  • Auto, truck, trailer, farm equipment, boat or aircraft salespersons or parts sales clerks;
  • Carrier, vessel, or delivery employees are paid on approved trip rate plans;
  • Certain broadcasting station announcers, news editors, and chief engineers;
  • Domestic service workers residing in their employers’ residences;
  • Employees of movie theatres;
  • Farm workers
  • Those employed in fishing operations
  • Seamen working on American vessels
  • Those working on international vessels

Conclusion

Under the FLSA, most employers reserve the right to mandate overtime work from most employees, and no limit is set when it comes to the amount of overtime that may be required. “Non-exempt” employees may even be requested to work a second shift without getting any prior notice.

However, depending on your field and situation, there may be certain limitations on mandatory overtime, which make your employer legally bound to honor those requirements. It is therefore imperative to understand your exact employment parameters to guarantee your rights are not being violated.